Thursday, April 30, 2015
Angelo Donghia, Man of the Year
2015 is shaping up to be the year of Angelo Donghia, whose memory seems to loom large these days thanks to the current vogue for Seventies Style. During the 1970s, Donghia was one of this country's most high-profile designers, whose roster of clients was equally as high-profile and included Halston, Ralph Lauren, and Barbara Walters. What made Donghia's work so memorable is that he managed to create contemporary interiors that, although slick-looking, were also comfortable and inviting, something which might be attributed to his use of commodious furniture and a color palette that favored warm neutrals over chilly ones.
Donghia's contributions to the design industry went beyond the realm of style, though, for in addition to being a talented designer, he was also a clever businessman who expanded his design business by branching out into fabrics, furniture, and other product lines. In fact, his blue-print for design success is one that is followed by most designers today. So, considering all of his accomplishments, it's only fitting that Donghia and his legacy are the subjects of an upcoming exhibit at the New York School of Interior Design. Curated by Donghia's Creative Director, Chuck Chewning, and Judith Gura, the exhibit is sure to be one of this fall's most anticipated events.
And finally, there is the new Donghia furniture collection, which feels very "Angelo Donghia" to me. Just compare the collection's latest designs (which can be seen at the bottom of this post) to the furniture used by Angelo Donghia in his client's Manhattan apartment, circa 1981. I have included photos of this home so that you can see how Donghia's style is still going strong. While the Botero paintings might look a little dated, most of the furniture has aged pretty well, especially when considered individually rather than as a whole.
I know you had me pegged as a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for contemporary furniture- as long as it is done well. And as would expected of a company like Donghia, the new collection is done very well.
Collection photos courtesy of Donghia; interior photos from Architectural Digest, August 1981, Jaime Ardiles-Arce photographer.